New move in fence row

ANGRY residents are this week holding a public drop-in meeting in Levington to let villagers give their views on work done to fence in walkers and which it is claimed has made a riverside footpath dangerous.

ANGRY residents are this week holding a public drop-in meeting in Levington to let villagers give their views on work done to fence in walkers and which it is claimed has made a riverside footpath dangerous.

The row over the work - which conservationists say has been carried out to protect flocks of roosting birds from dogs off leads - has been rumbling on for the past month.

The Keep Levington Beautiful Campaign has branded the fencing as ugly and says it is destroying an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with some of the most striking views in Suffolk.

Tomorrow from 7.30pm to 9.30pm the group is holding an information drop-in session at Levington Village Hall when people can lodge questions they would like answered at a public meeting next month, see documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and sign a petition.

Campaigner June Langford said: “There are a lot of concerns over this fencing and the views of the people in Levington have not changed and we want it removed.

“But we also want to hear exactly why it has been put up and to listen to those explanations so we can question them.

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“There is great concern that this fencing has been paid for from public money when the land is privately owned, and we are not happy with some of the statements made about huge flocks of birds using the meadows.

“We have never seen large numbers of birds - these are just phantom flocks.”

There is also concern the fencing blocks areas used by deer and they could be injured trying to jump over it.

Posts and steel wire have been placed around meadows and pathways on the Ipswich side of Levington Creek on the banks of the River Orwell, which campaigners say is unsightly and has narrowed paths.

The fencing was put up because of the threat to birds caused by walkers and their dogs leaving the footpath and taking a short-cut across the meadow.

The field provides night time roosting for skylarks to owls and birds of prey, is important for over-wintering species such as snipe and jack snipe and many birds use the associated and adjoining habitats, and in summer scarce birds such as redshank and lapwing.

What do you feel about the fences? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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